While everyone may be talking about Jay-Z’s confessions of infidelity on his album 4:44, he also talks about another former secret: his mum is a lesbian.
On the track Smile, he raps about his mum Gloria, and how happy he is that she can now live her life authentically and out in the open, after years of feeling forced to hide her true self.
‘Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian,’ he raps. ‘Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian / Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take / Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Doesn’t matter if it’s a him or her / I just wanna see you smile through all the hate.’
Gloria, who raised Jay and his three siblings on her own after the kids’ father walked out, also takes part in the track, reading a poem about her experience.
‘Living in the shadow / Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live?’ she asks. ‘In the shadow people see you as happy and free / Because that’s what you want them to see. Living two lives, happy, but not free.’
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